In Kinderpillar Preschool classrooms, teachers actively engage young children in learning process and encourage self-regulation. Children learn multiple concepts, facts, skills and small projects. They also develop autonomy and sense of responsibility. Students are interdependent, may work collaboratively or alone; teachers allow a wider and more divergent range of acceptable roles and behaviors hence building teams and social bonds. All the classrooms are equipped with scientifically designed, safe, non-toxic and age-appropriate toys which enhance the brain-based learning process. The curriculum is delivered through combination of group and individual activities, allowing each child to blend in among the peers as well as to enhance his/her personal traits, and discover interests.
Language and Literacy
During the preschool years, children’s experiences with communication and literacy begin to form the basis for their later school success. Given adequate opportunities to interact with responsive adults and peers in language and print-rich environments, young children develop vocabulary, extended language skills, and knowledge of the world around them. They develop listening comprehension and phonological awareness; understanding of the everyday functions of print; motivation to read; appreciation for literary forms; and print awareness and letter knowledge. They learn what books are and how to use them. Understanding the value of literacy as a means of communication, as well as coming to enjoy reading, is accomplishments typical of the future good reader. These language and literacy accomplishments are best achieved through activities that are integrated across different developmental areas: cognitive development, fine and gross motor development, and social and emotional development.
Mathematics learning builds on children’s curiosity and enthusiasm, and challenges children to explore ideas about patterns and relationships, order and predictability, and logic and meaning. Consequently, quality instruction occurs in environments that are rich in language, encourage children’s thinking, and nurture children’s explorations and ideas. These ideas include the concepts of number pattern, measurement, shape, space, and classification.
Young children are natural scientists. They are eager to discover all they can about the world in which they live. In preschool, children participate in simple investigations that help them begin to develop the skills of asking questions, gathering information, communicating findings, and making informed decisions. Using their own senses and common tools, such as a hand lens, students make observations and collect information. Through these processes, preschool children learn about their world. Children enter the preschool classroom with many conceptions about the natural and constructed world-ideas that they have gained from prior experiences. Meaningful science learning experiences help children investigate those pre-existing ideas while building a foundation for additional knowledge. These meaningful experiences increase children’s understanding of the natural world, living things, cycles, change, and patterns-concepts that organize the learning of science.
- Science Processes:Children use the processes of science to develop an understanding about their world. They use their senses to gather information, make tentative statements about events and relationships, and begin to test observations, draw conclusions, and form generalizations. Children learn by participating in a simple investigation (for example, adding water to a dried-up sponge), and then thinking about it, and finally discussing what happened. This inquiry approach enables students to build understanding over time.
- Science Concepts:As preschool children learn science skills, they develop concepts about the natural and constructed environment. They identify components of the natural world including rocks, soil, and water. Children observe and describe changes, and they name organisms and describe basic needs of living things. Preschool children observe cycles (for example, wet and dry) and structures (such as fences or buildings) and describe simple patterns that help predict what will happen next. They compare and sort objects and organisms based on observable differences and similarities. The children begin using what they know to solve problems, such as where to hang a wet cloth so it will dry quickly. The preschool children can also develop an awareness that investigations help them learn about the natural world, that certain questions can be answered by investigations, and that those answers can change as new observations are made.
Social studies concentrate on the nature of people and their world, the heritage of the past, and contemporary living and culture. The social studies are both integral to young children’s lives and of great interest to them. Driven by a desire to know and achieve mastery over self and their environment, children are eager to gain understanding of the many aspects of their cultural and environmental world. Through social studies, children begin to develop the self-understanding that will serve as a foundation for learning about others and the world around them. Although all aspects of education have the goal of preparing children to become contributing members of society, social studies are particularly well suited to foster the skills and attitudes necessary for participation in a democracy. Skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and working independently and with others in a classroom prepare children to become fully functioning citizens.
Young children express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings using a variety of symbols. Through their art, music, and dramatic play, children actively engage in representing what they know and how they think, using problem-solving strategies to express ideas in different forms. The fine arts enhance children’s ability to interpret symbols and are associated with growth in all areas of development, including academic learning.
- Art- Children explore a wide variety of materials and make discoveries about color, shape, and texture through art experiences. They learn to express what they know and begin to recognize how others express themselves through art. They also begin to gain control of fine-motor muscles and practice hand-eye coordination.
- Music- Three- and four-year-old children express themselves through singing and movement, and by playing simple instruments. Like art, music is a form of experiencing, learning, and communicating with others. Children learn to experiment with music concepts, volume, tempo, and sound. They begin to appreciate different types of music.
- Dramatic Play –Creative drama in preschool involves young children in expressive and spontaneous productions. Children demonstrate their unique interpretation to music, songs, and stories through movement and dramatic experiences. These experiences contribute to children’s ability to communicate more effectively and engage in cooperative activity with others.
Health and Safety
Young children learn health-promoting habits and routines in preschool. In these early years, they develop basic concepts, attitudes, and skills about nutrition, safety, hygiene, and physical activity that contribute to their well-being. Children’s experiences with their health and discovery of ways to improve it enhance their desire and ability to make wise decisions for healthy living in the future.
Personal and Social Development
Preschool children develop personal and social skills that enable them to function well within the social setting of the classroom. Children develop a sense of who they are and their capabilities, and establish positive relationships with others, which enables them to effectively participate in class and community and accomplish meaningful tasks.
Movement is at the center of young children’s lives. Preschool children participate in experiences that foster fundamental motor and movement skills, such as walking and running, which are necessary for participation in games and sports throughout life. They begin to develop gross motor skills that involve throwing, catching, and kicking, and fine motor skills that involve greater precision and accuracy of movement.
Young children have much to gain from use of technology. In preschool, they expand their ability to acquire information, solve problems, and communicate with others. Regular access and exposure to computers and related technology can enhance this learning. Children use engaging, age-appropriate, and challenging software, and technology to extend their knowledge and to enrich their learning of curriculum content and concepts. These technologies serve as important learning tools and are integrated throughout the instructional program.